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Oral history interview with Jorgen Kieler

Oral History | RG Number: RG-50.391.0001

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Jørgen Kieler (Jørgen von Führen Kieler), a Danish citizen, discusses first witnessing Nazi antisemitism in 1934 on a family trip to Prague, Czech Republic; going to Germany in 1937 to study German art and literature at University of Munich for six months; seeing Nazi propaganda posters; Germany’s invasion of Denmark on April 4, 1940 while he was living in Copenhagen and the response of the Danish king; the formation of resistance organizations in 1940 and the impact of illegal newspapers and pamphlets, such as “The Ram”, which published names of prominent anti-Semites; the debate between active and passive resistance; sabotage activities at the direction of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE); the close collaboration between Danish and German authorities and the signing of the Anti-Comintern Pact in November 1941, all of which led him to be more active in the resistance movement; the formation of the Churchill Group in Aalborg (Ålborg), Denmark; committing 25 acts of sabotage, which had little military value but had significant psychological impact; the impact of the weak Danish government; escalating his sabotage activities when Germany’s peaceful occupation came to an end and Erik Scavenius became Prime Minister; the sabotage activities in Spring 1943 and the support of the general population; the crisis in August 1943 when German barracks were blown up by Holger Danske (the first iteration) and the Danish government refused Hitler’s command to crack down; the losses to the resistance movement; being involved in re-forming Holger Danske by leading its activist wing; the leader of the group, Svend Otto Nielsen, and other members, including Sven Kieler and a member named Torch; the roundup of Jews beginning in October 1943; beginning rescue operations to help Jews escape to Sweden; the resistance role of the medical community; being arrested early in 1944; his treatment in prison and the physical and psychological effects of malnutrition and torture in the Neuengamme concentration camp after September 15, 1944; and being sent to the Porta Wesfalica labor camps.

Interviewee
Jorgen Kieler
Date
1994 June 10  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 videocassettes (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Chalice Well Productions
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Record last modified: 2018-11-12 11:25:14
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn513384